Holding the CBI as its "subordinate office", the Centre rejected the plea to give more power to its Director, saying that it would be bad in law if such demands are met which would result in "vesting unbridled power in one authority".

In a 23-page affidavit filed in the apex court, the government said that although the Director is in grade and pay scale of the Secretary but agency demand for ex-officio power cannot be granted as it would alter the organizational relationship between the Government department and its subordinate offices.

"While considering the demands of a particular subordinate office like the CBI, it has to keep in mind the issue of parity with similarly-placed organizations and it is not desirable to create new precedent which would create heartburn in similarly-placed organizations."

"The mere fact of same pay scales does not alter the organizational relationship between the Government departments and its subordinate offices. Other Central Armed Forces, Central Police Organizations, officers of the Armed Services many of whom may be enjoying similar pay scales or even higher to that of the Secretary to the government but that does not alter the official procedure," the affidavit said.

It said that if such demand by one organization is acceded to by the government, there will be similar demands raised by other subordinate organizations.

"Government is accountable and answerable to Parliament and therefore the right of the executive to run the government, subject to checks and balances, cannot be taken away," it said, adding, "Granting the ex-officio powers of the Secretary would run contrary to the rules and affect the statutory scheme of governance."

"The vesting of ex-officio Secretary powers upon the CBI Director is strongly opposed as it will seriously jeopardize the scheme of checks and balances envisaged in the governance as well as other deleterious effects it is likely to have on the criminal justice system," it said.


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